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Besides media platforms like Semafor and The Block, political organizations that were major beneficiaries of Bankman-Fried’s benevolence are also scrambling to wash their hands clean.
Media platform, Semafor is set to buy back the $10 million cash injection it received from Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the embattled founder and former Chief Executive Officer of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. As reported by the New York Times (NYT), Semafor plans to raise funding from other external sources in a bid to cushion the amount it plans to use to buy back the shares from SBF.
Semafor comes off as one of the media outlets that had a cozy relationship with SBF prior to the implosion of FTX in November last year. Bankman-Fried’s $10 million stake in Semafor back in October was the biggest external funding the media firm received from the $25 million raise at the time.
One of the major accusations that SBF has received from the industry is in his actions to fund media platforms in order to control several narratives about his impropriety as a leader of the second-largest crypto trading platform. While his misdeeds in managing FTX’s finances were unknown at the time, many believed his investments were made in order to gain favor for such a time as this.
As the golden crypto boy in the eyes of the media, SBF went on a publicity tour shortly after FTX filed for bankruptcy, a move he made against his own lawyer’s counsel. While he put up a front that the purpose was to apologize and explain the situation with FTX as best as he could, a number of media outlets tried to divert the narrative and make light of the 30-year-old’s involvement in defrauding almost a million creditors as revealed by the exchange.
The move by Semafor appears to be in the right direction and the firm said it will be keeping the buyback funds in a secure trust until the courts decide which FTX entity the money should be paid to.
“We are planning to repurchase Sam Bankman-Fried’s interest in Semafor, and to place the money into a separate account until the relevant legal authorities provide guidance as to where the money should be returned,” Co-Founder, Justin Smith Says.
Beyond Semafor, Other SBF Beneficiaries Plans Refund
While the funds from Semafor come off as the highest from a nonpolitical entity, other media platforms have also been embroiled in a similar indictment for being funded by the estranged crypto innovator.
One of these firms is The Block whose founder and former CEO, Michael McCaffrey took a series of loans from Bankman-Fried without disclosing the transactions. When it came to light, McCaffrey resigned from his role and the new CEO posited that the relationship between the duo does not affect The Block’s editorial standards.
Besides media platforms like Semafor and The Block, political organizations that were major beneficiaries of Bankman-Fried’s benevolence are also scrambling to wash their hands clean with a number of them already promising to return the funds donated to them.